Revealed: how many globetrotting trips drivers in North Yorkshire clocked last year

2,598 vehicles pass through North Yorkshire each day.
2,598 vehicles pass through North Yorkshire each day.

Drivers travelled enough miles on North Yorkshire roads last year to take them around the world hundreds of thousands of times, figures show.

But as road traffic rises across Great Britain, the walking and cycling charity Sustrans said the figures “call for urgent action” to protect public health from pollution.

Newly released Department for Transport data shows cars, taxis, lorries and other road vehicles covered 5.4 billion miles on North Yorkshire roads in 2018, equivalent to about 218,000 trips around the equator.

This was up 11% from nine years earlier, when some local authorities merged – a faster rise in traffic than the national average.

The data shows that an average stretch of road in North Yorkshire sees 2,598 vehicles pass through it each day.

With more motors on the go, the Local Government Association warned congestion, rundown roads and air quality would be likely to worsen.

The group’s transport spokesman, Martin Tett, also said greater government funding was needed to deal with a £9.3 billion road repair backlog. He added: “If we’re to truly tackle air pollution, we need government support to enable us to deliver effective local plans, and robust national action to help the country transition to low-emission vehicles and power generation.”

A spokeswoman said the Government would invest more than £50 billion to reduce road congestion and potholes between 2015 and 2025, with further funds allocated for improving railways and public transport.

Article by data reporter Alex Shaw